California Faces More Sizzling Temps

People gather on the beach in Santa Monica, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 2, 2007. (AP Photo/Richard Lui) AP Photo/Richard Lui

Parts of southern California sweltered in temperatures above 100 degrees as a weeklong heat wave contributed to power outages that left thousands without air conditioning and causing at least two deaths.

Southern California Edison said 20,000 customers in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties had no electricity Monday.

About 9,000 more customers in scattered parts of Los Angeles also were without power, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power spokeswoman MaryAnne Piersen said.

Temperatures Monday hit 99 degrees in downtown Los Angeles and reached 111 degrees in the Woodland Hills area of the San Fernando Valley, according to the National Weather Service.

Firefighters found an elderly couple in their apartment in a San Fernando Valley neighborhood where 106 degree were reported. The couple did not have air conditioning, authorities said.

San Diego Gas and Electric Co., which serves San Diego County and southern Orange County, declared a power emergency and began preparing for potential rolling blackouts as demand hit a record.

About 30,000 of its customers experienced outages Monday, but electricity was restored to 22,000 of them by the afternoon, spokesman Peter Hidalgo said.

"We need immediate energy conservation, or else there will be rolling blackouts," Hidalgo said.

Lightning strikes on grid equipment due to scattered desert thunderstorms added to the strain.

The California Independent System Operator, which oversees the state's power grid, said no major shortages were expected. But it was urging customers to conserve electricity by setting air conditioning thermostats higher and waiting to use major appliances until after dark.

Relief is in on the way, reported CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker. Forecasters predict a cool front will drop temperatures 15 degrees by the end of the week.

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

Download
The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App